Friday, August 06, 2010

Scrutator: Picture this

You'll have to picture this yourself this week, because I have not included any pictures for this post. It looks rather boring, but the content is...well...lively. I've decided that between Facebook and mymsn page, this is going pretty well so far. Let me say that I don't include EVERYTHING I find interesting. I am showing some restraint - believe it or not. So, here is this weeks picture less scrutator:

Wolves are not responsible for declining elk populations in Idaho since their reintroduction according to a study.  The article has a quote that isn't entirely accurate, however.  “No predator has ever eliminated its food,” Creel said. “Change is always the most dramatic at the beginning, then population numbers settle.”  I would have to say that the human predator is responsible for eliminating many natural food sources.  Well, maybe that's a stretch - we can make our own food, so what he is saying is that wolves will not kill themselves out of future dinners.  I will be keeping track of the comments section here.  Of course, there is already a comment from a wolf-hater who believes that wolves are killing off all of the elk.  Dude, just because you can't find an elk to shoot when you're hunting doesn't mean they are all gone.  It just means you might actually have to get out of your pick-up truck and HUNT instead of playing target practice with elk standing in the middle of an open field!

Orangutans are more efficient than humans.  Scientists have studied these apes and have found that they consume less food pound for pound than humans while still enjoying a very active lifestyle.  The probable cause for this difference is that they have a very slow resting metabolic rate that has evolved in response to a constantly changing food source and availability.  The article doesn't say exactly how much more efficient the orangutans are than humans, nor have they studied the possible differences in human lineages.  It would be interesting to know if a person's ancestry plays a role in resting metabolic rate.  I for one am certain I have a lower metabolic rate that average.  If I eat 1500 calories a day, I will be fat.  If I want to lose weight, I have to restrict to under 1000 calories a day.  This is anecdotal evidence to be sure, and has not bearing on true scientific knowledge, but scientific studies have to start somewhere.  This study on orangutans and the possibility that humans face weight problems that could be tied to lineage are great places to begin a new study.  I won't be doing that study, though I'm sure I'll be reading it someday!

Here's a good short story with no real meat - or nose. A Boise man is arrested for felony mayhem. He bit off the nose of his room mate. Officers couldn't find the nose, so it probably won't get sewn back on. It seems in really poor taste to make the pun here - you know - he won't be poking his nose where it doesn't belong anymore. Yes, very poor taste.

In Idaho, medicaid payments are not all being paid.  Health and Welfare has switched computer services.  Molina was the low bidder.  Why did the government chose to make the switch without a good test of the system or a plan B?  Could this be more design than malfunction?  Imagine how much money the State is making off of the payments they are supposed to be making to providers as the money sits in banks for moths.  Some providers are going out of business.  Care is suffering.  Already, the candidate running against the incumbent governor has jumped all over this.  He is speaking with providers to pin-point the problems and taking suggestions as to how to fix them.  So far, I am really lucky to work someplace that has enough money so far to make payroll.  That could change, of course.  I guess that's what happens when private sector businesses mess with government.

Here is capitalism at work in the pharmaceutical field.  The big pharma companies are pulling out of research for medications that treat psychiatric disorders - not because they have developed highly effective medicines with minimal side effects - but because they won't make enough money for them.  I am linking to a psych blogger on this because the original article requires a subscription, which I cannot afford.  This is highly disturbing (the new - not the subscription - although I think news should be fee free), and evidence that healthcare will never be safe in the hands of capitalism.  This is the very definition of rationed health care, isn't it?  Only those who can pay get the best treatment.

This Wednesday is just packed with good news!  My clients were ok - just lost texting on their phone - I am getting new clients and will soon be making good money again, and a judge just overturned the California gay marriage ban!  Don't worry, it isn't the end of the family.  The family is an ever-changing entity that conforms to the needs of the society that forms them.  Children still need parents/guardians/teachers, and adults still need networks of people that they can count on.  Family will never die - hopefully bigotry will.

And there it is. Now I can turn in my progress notes and head out for a fun weekend trip! It may be my last for a while, because I might actually really start working again. I know I can do it, I just have to get up off know.